Category Archives:
Middle East

Liberal Israeli leaders were contemplating genocide in Gaza already in 1967

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli leaders were not only contemplating ethnic cleansing, but also Genocide, according to declassified governmental minutes from 1967. Labor politicians were obsessed with the fear that the 1.4 million Palestinians in the territories they had seized would overwhelm the state’s Jewish majority one day. And these liberal Zionists encouraged the settlements, too.

Target Hezbollah

Ted Snider on

Israel backed al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Syria in an effort to weaken Bashar al-Assad and Iran. The effort has failed and now Israel and Saudi Arabia are turning their attention to Lebanon where two mysterious events over the past week indicate that Hezbollah may be in Israel’s sights.

Dear Simon Schama, you need a history lesson on Zionism

Robert Cohen on

Simon Schama’s defense of Zionism in a letter to the Times of London is not worthy of his standing as a historian, Robert Cohen writes. “Your denial of any connection between colonialism and Zionism makes me seriously question your historical understanding…. If you truly recognise the equal Palestinian claim to the land you must also understand Zionism was always going to turn out badly for the Palestinians.”

UK minister forced to resign over secret Israel meetings as questions continue to swirl

Jonathan Cook on

British government minister Priti Patel was forced to resign following revelations she conducted 12 undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Patel’s behavior has been characterized in the British press as “incompetence,” but Jonathan Cook unpacks what she, and Israel, might have been trying to achieve.

AIPAC and Federation officials criticize Israeli leaders for being clueless about U.S.

Philip Weiss on

“Israel is the single most divisive issue in the American community pitting American Jew against American Jew,” says Eric Goldstein, ceo of the Jewish Federation of New York. While Jonathan Kessler, an executive at AIPAC, said Israeli leaders’ ignorance of U.S. politics is “dangerous” and young US Jews are growing estranged from the country.

Thousands march to UK parliament calling for justice on Balfour centenary

Lydia Noon on

Olive branches, a huge Palestinian flag, a large cardboard drawing of Lord Arthur Balfour, and Theresa May cartoons were some of the creative props displayed during the 15,000-strong ‘Justice Now: Make it Right for Palestine’ march and rally in London to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

Cartoon of Dershowitz mingled appropriate satire and anti-Semitic imagery

Matthew Taylor on

The cartoon of Dershowitz that the ‘Daily Cal’ retracted was not anti-semitic in showing Dersh as dripping blood, in his defense of Israel. But its depiction of the lawyer as having a spider’s body dehumanized him as an insect and reflected anti-Semitic propaganda, Matthew Taylor argues.

PM May: Take back the Balfour Declaration – Israel reneged on the bargain

Ian Berman on

It is time that British Government declare that Israel has never lived up to the revered Balfour Declaration and rescind it once and for all. For if Great Britain believes in human rights and democracy, it will demand that Israel recognize the right of Palestinian refugees and their offspring to return home and to live as equal citizens under a representative government.

Balfour Declaration’s 100th birthday prompts calls on Britain to apologize and recognize Palestinian rights

Philip Weiss and Allison Deger on

The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, on November 2, is turning out to be an important occasion for Palestinians to register their sense of betrayal by Britain for colonial-era promises that still govern the lives of so many people in Israel and Palestine, and to call on Britain to make the declaration “right” by assuring Palestinians’ rights at last. 

Smear campaign is defused as Tom Suarez speaks at UMass

Tom Suarez on

When Israel supporters learned of Tom Suarez’s speaking tour in the U.S., they rushed to malign him, describing his work as “dripping with racial hatred against Jews.” And history faculty at UMass characterized him as an “amateur author.” Despite these efforts, Suarez spoke at UMass and Columbia and the Jerusalem Fund too.

‘It being clearly understood…’: What the Balfour Declaration tells us about Israel

Nada Elia on

Sixty-seven words. That is the full extent of the Balfour Declaration, and yet few documents have had as devastating an impact as this historical document. Still, Nada Elia writes that the cursory nature of its wording indicates a twentieth-century awareness that the dispossession of the Palestinian people was already considered anachronistic when the declaration was written 100 years ago.

Balfour and Britain’s broken promise

Tim Llewellyn on

Former BBC Middle East Correspondent Tim Llewellyn says Great Britain is a nation split between government and governed when it comes to Israel and Palestine: “If the British Conservative Government of Teresa May represented the views of the people of Britain rather than the preferences of the state of Israel on the disastrous outcome for the Palestinian Arabs of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, she would not be planning to celebrate this 100th anniversary with Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister. This will happen at a cosy London dinner party at the home of Lord Rothschild, heir to the recipient of that infamous letter from Arthur J. Balfour, Britain’s then Foreign Secretary.”

A party for Jewry’s phantom limb

Abba Solomon on

On October 22, 2017, a party was thrown to celebrate the 120th Anniversary of the founding of the Jewish Worker’s Bund of Russia, Poland and Lithuania, sponsored by YIVO Institute in NY. The Bund in the interwar 1920-39 period provided a model of secular Jewish identity without separatism and in Poland demonstrated effective Jewish participation in a multiethnic state. The Bundists elevated the principle of Doikayt, “hereness,” working in the society in which one lives, rather than toward the religious other world, or toward a Jewish state.

Balfour anniversary drives a wedge into British consensus on Israel

Robert Cohen on

At a British Labour Party gathering, Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest applause came when he said the oppression of Palestinians must end. No wonder he snubbed an invitation from the Jewish Leadership Council to commemorate the Balfour Declaration at 100. And no wonder a UK diplomat says Balfour’s promise to non-Jewish communities has gone unfulfilled. Balfour anniversary is dividing British opinion on Israel.

Alternative travel facts from ‘the Tuscany of the Middle East’

Hatim Kanaaneh on

The Telegraph’s recent travel article about Israel didn’t mention Palestinian Arabs once. They make up two thirds of the population of Western Galilee, the region extolled in the article as the “Tuscany of the Middle East.” Culture in Israel is Ashkenazi Jewish. Anything else, even if occasionally present, is seen and interpreted from that perspective.

Contest! Design a logo to celebrate the IDF’s 70th birthday

Adam Horowitz and Carlos Latuff on

The Israeli military needs your help! It is holding a contest to choose a “celebratory logo” to mark the Israel Defense Forces’ 70th birthday. To be honest, the choices are not very exciting. But don’t worry, we have ideas!

‘Follow the Women’ bike tour visits Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon

Colleen McGuire on

Follow the Women was founded in 2004, and this year 120 women from the United States, England, Iran, Italy, Jordan, China, Japan, Poland, Turkey, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, France, Germany, Belgium and Cyprus biked all over Lebanon visiting Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps, not-for-profit foundations, former prison camps, cafes, schools and even a micro-brewery and soap factory.

‘Balfour’s Legacy: Confronting the Consequences’ to be held in Harvard Square

Nancy Murray on

The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration has set the stage for some long overdue historical truth-telling. On November 11 in Cambridge, MA, two dozen speakers will examine how the Zionist project was implemented in historic Palestine, and consider its long-term consequences for Palestinians, world Jewry, the United States, the United Nations and international law during the all-day conference: ‘Balfour’s Legacy: Confronting the Consequences.’   

Balfour at 100: A legacy of racism and propaganda

Dan Freeman-Maloy on

Dan Freeman-Maloy writes, “The worsening crisis in Palestine reflects more than a local record of colonial crimes, severe as these have been. Responsibility for it is global. Arundhati Roy was right to describe the Palestine tragedy as one of “imperial Britain’s festering, blood-drenched gifts to the modern world.” It is also a product of a history of racism and empire that extended across most of the West. On this centennial of the Balfour Declaration, reflection on this shared culpability should serve as a reminder of the responsibility for the political action that comes with it.”

In Ireland, a Palestinian is understood

Steven Salaita on

Steven Salaita travels to Ireland and has an unexpected encounter with a border agent who shows support for Palestine: “By the time I was shivering in Dublin’s oceanic air, it occurred to me that the customs agent hadn’t provided special treatment; he was merely treating me with the sort of dignity proffered to anybody seen as human.  I am unaccustomed to that kind of normalcy.  In the anti-Zionist’s world, venality is routine.”

The low-rent bullying of the Zionist ideologue

Thomas S. Harrington on

Imagine that Italian fascists argued that anti-fascism is anti-Italian prejudice? That is what Zionists do in the name of Judaism. No other political interest group regularly demands, through bullying, social and professional slander, and orchestrated campaigns of ostracism, that we accept their particular ideology as per se legitimate and lovable.

Miko Peled on free speech and Zionism

Miko Peled on

Miko Peled says that you cannot believe in free speech and then say that it is criminal to deny the Holocaust. And he says that racists should be denied platforms on the left– and that includes Zionists.

The problem with Miko Peled’s ‘Holocaust: yes or no’

Jonathan Ofir on

Miko Peled’s suggestion at a British Labour conference that “Holocaust: yes or no” should be open to debate, has thrown raw meat to Holocaust deniers as well as Israel apologists. Even as he says that Zionism should not be debated.